Collaboration has been massively enhanced in recent years through the advent and increasing improvement in project management software. While these technologies have improved the speed and efficacy of collaboration the core elements that make a team a cohesive and successful unit have their basis in traditional project management techniques dating from the beginning of the field.
So, we’ve collected some of the most important collaboration techniques to improve team performance to ensure you are getting the most out of your team.
- Connect your team members
Getting a project team to a high level of functionality together requires trust and communication. This applies to all teams but is especially important when a team also includes remote employment. It is important for any project manager to create an environment where team-members feel comfortable voicing their opinions and can find and request help from other members. To do this be sure to set time for informal discussion and personal communication, this can be done by keeping the first five minutes of any meeting informal or by having a “random” channel for more light-hearted topics on your communication applications.
- Use online project collaboration software
Harnessing the power of cloud-based project management software can greatly improve team collaboration. With the increased speed and clarity of decision-making, as well as more engaged and effective communication, tools like Clarizen allow teams to work at maximum efficiency and avoid project delays. Using collaborative software couldn’t be easier as well, with systems being cloud-based meaning centralized storage for all project material speeding up access times and providing real-time information, available through updated project timelines, negating the necessity for cumbersome spreadsheets.
- Create a team outline
One way of making everyone more comfortable in their collaboration is by clearly defining your team roles, responsibilities and objectives in a project charter. It provides a clear reference point for any project queries as well as establishing the ground rules for communication and achieving objectives. With this document, every team member knows what is expected of them and when deliverables are due. By having a quick reference guide, members can avoid time-consuming delays by finding the answer for their query quickly or at least finding the responsible person who can help them with it. This is one of the most effective collaboration techniques to improve team performance and is relatively simple to create.
- Recognition of efforts
Research has shown that 82% of employees feel that their efforts are not recognized enough by their supervisors and that 40% would put in more effort if they thought it would be recognized. This means that if you are searching for collaboration techniques to improve team performance, recognizing that performance in the first place is a good place to start. This can come in many different forms rather than being solely monetary, including gamified solutions and perks such as extra holidays or paying for further education.
Being open and honest with your team might seem like standard procedure but very often project manager’s feel that being all things to all people is the best way of enhancing team collaboration. While it may work for a while it can also lead to discord among team members who are told different things at various times or lose direction due to confused goals. Transparency is not always easy as it can involve admitting fault and also necessitate making others aware of their faults, however for the strength of a team, knowing that others are laying everything on the table with each other can be a great bonding factor.
Team collaboration is essential for any project success and it is an important responsibility of every project manager to make sure that happens. By establishing these collaboration techniques to improve your team’s performance into your project management processes you can establish the effective unit you will need to guarantee project success.